Light Drinking in Pregnancy May Actually Help Babies

Study finds small advantages for boys whose moms imbibed
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 11:05 AM CDT
In UCL's study, women who had one or two drinks a week were often more likely to produce children with fewer behavioral problems and better social skills.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – An occasional drink during pregnancy not only doesn't hurt babies, a British study has found, it may even benefit them. Moms who did a little imbibing—say, a drink a week—saw substantially lower risks of hyperactivity and behavior problems in boys by the age of 3, the Guardian reports. The kids also scored higher on vocabulary and other tests of cognitive development.

Though the authors of the study corrected for the impact of social and economic circumstances on the 3-year-olds, they admit that it's possible that more relaxed mothers who are light drinkers may just tend to have better-behaved toddlers than abstainers. British health officials maintain that abstaining from alcohol is still the safest policy for pregnant women, until scientists reach consensus.